February 9th, 2022
For this week’s Esports blog, we are delving back into the history of the industry to reminisce on some of it's best moments so far. The highs and the lows, the big wins and the devastating losses - all of which keeps the fans glued to their seats.
1. The Fornite World Cup
When it comes to the biggest winnings, it would be impossible not to throw it back to the 2019 Fornite World Cup. The champion, Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, was awarded 3 million dollars at just 16 years old! Not only was the winner's money extortionately huge, but the opportunities given to the tournament's participants were immense. A lot of the contestant's streams blew up and even players who came last won life-changing money!
2. Biggest Controversy
Not to dwell on the bad stuff, but if we look back on the most significant moments of Esport history, then we have to take a moment to reflect on the CS:GO match-fixing scandal of 2014. Two teams, IBUYPOWER and NetCodeGuides faced off in CSGOs ESL One Cologne 2. iBP was favoured to win yet their tactics seemed odd. They ended up losing the game and people blamed travel issues. However, it later came out from pro player Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan that the match was fixed and iBP was to lose.
3. The Underdog
Dota 2 have a tournament called ‘The International’ which invites teams from all over the world to compete against each other. It would usually only have the biggest and best teams involved, but one year 'Team Spirit' made the cut. This was impressive in itself as the team consisted of a newly made roster of complete rookies to the Dota 2 esports scene. In the early stages, they lost their first game of the tournament, placing them into the lower bracket. However, they then went on to win every other game after that, including the grand final. They faced off against some of the top teams in the world and veterans of Dota 2. It was absolutely legendary to see this new team prevail against the best of the best, marking their place in the Esport hall of fame.
4. Making It Big!
Looking back on the moments that made Esports as popular as it is today, undoubtedly Fortnite was a key player in this. In the March of 2018, Ninja played Fornite with Drake, Travis Scott, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. This stream alone was largely responsible for pushing gaming and Esports into the mainstream by combining two worlds that had never interacted before. During the stream, Ninja amassed over 600,000 concurrent viewers! This brought a lot of mainstream attention, as well as more eyes to gaming in general.
Just by reflecting on the most insane moments in Esport history over the past 5-10 years, you can map clearly the incredible growth in popularity of the medium. We can only imagine how this growth will double in the coming decade (in fact, we even made predictions on exactly this in our last Esport blog).